The Other Critics

Kauffman Adores the Light, and the Small Plates, at Piccino; Bauer Returns to Town’s End

Piccino, where
Piccino, where “everyone is beautiful.” Photo: Grub Street

Jonathan Kauffman weighs in on the revamped and relocated Piccino in Dogpatch, and all he can talk about at first is how the place seems to glow on a summer evening. “[It’s] a restaurant that seems to capture every fantasy about Sunset living,” he writes, and says that “everyone is beautiful” there. He says their pizzas pale in comparison with many you can now find around town, calling them (contrary to Mr. Bauer) “A little indistinct, a little too lightweight.” But small plates like Piccino’s halibut crudo and the “magnificent” Roman-style semolina gnocchi are what grab him. Also, he calls the service the epitome of S.F.’s “formally casual” style. “Nothing was lost, or rushed, but our server talked to us as if she were chatting with a neighbor at the dog park, and slipped in a few details about the origins of the sausage (house-made) and the halibut (a local fisherman) without bragging or moralizing.” [SF Weekly, Unterman’s earlier take]

Mr. Bauer meanwhile files an update on Town’s End, the neighborhood restaurant at Embarcadero and Townsend in what didn’t used to be much of a neighborhood. The place still notches two stars, despite being twenty years old and a little worse for wear. He says the interior could use “sprucing,” the desserts could be better, and the service can be slow, but there’s a “generosity” about the place nonetheless. He also notes that the place is kind of “a throwback to the 1990’s” that “could even have played in the 1970s,” with some “sloppy presentations” to boot, but he just doesn’t sound like he wants to hate the place. [Chron]

Kauffman Adores the Light, and the Small Plates, at Piccino; Bauer Returns to